Cédric MALOUX, President of the French Tech Prague
Launched at the end of 2013 by the French government, “French Tech” refers to anyone working in or for a French start-up in France or abroad. French Tech is primarily aimed at entrepreneurs, but also investors, engineers, developers, corporations, associations, media, public sector operators, research institutes, etc. which all share the common goal to encourage the emergence of successful start-ups in France in order to create economic value and jobs.
Despite being founded by the government, the French Tech philosophy is to rely on the French Tech members’ own initiatives to highlight what is already there and create rippling effects. French Tech initiatives are about government support, not government oversight. It is driven by the state, but built by all its community members.
The French Tech members are supported by Mission French Tech, a small dedicated team working closely with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Committee for Investment (Commissariat Général à l’Investissement).
Rooted in over 100 cities worldwide, French Tech Communities are the nodes of the global network. Together, they give first, power the movement locally and increase the mobility of French start-ups by welcoming them to their city. In five years, France has become one of the most dynamic tech countries in the world, with 25 unicorns (companies valued at over €1B) in 2022 compared to 2 in 2017.
Some of the initiatives under the French Tech label include:
- The French Tech Visa, a simplified, fast-track scheme for non-EU start-up employees, founders and investors to obtain a residence permit in France
- French Tech Tremplin, an initiative aimed at identifying french speaking aspiring entrepreneurs from less privileged backgrounds and welcoming them into the French Tech ecosystem. We optimise their chances of success through funding, training and mentorship. The initiative is designed to level the playing field by mimicking certain advantages these entrepreneurs would have had easier access to, had they come from more privileged backgrounds.
In Czechia, French Tech Prague was founded in May 2020 and is represented by two Presidents , (StartupYard) alongside Vassili LE MOIGNE (DT Force) and three community leads Yann BOUVIER (Valéo), Yves LE ROCH (Publicis) and Magali VOISIN-RATELLE (Business France), all of them based out of Prague.
The Supporting Founding Members of the French Tech Prague community are: ALEEGO, French-Czech Chamber of Commerce, CORKHOUSE, CREDO VENTURES, CREATIVE DOCK, DEVOTEAM, DYNACOR CAPITAL, EASYBNB, EDENRED CZ, EXAPRO, KOMERCNI BANKA, LIGHTHOUSE VENTURES, MAZARS, PUBLICIS, THALES CZ, TIME IS LIMITED and the Embassy of France in the Czech Republic.
The French Tech Prague community is now composed of over 200 people, and growing, that meet on a regular basis around four main pillars:
- Promoting the French-Czech tech ecosystem under a single label, based on France’s strengths in terms of innovation and the importance of Prague in European tech,
- Help Czech innovative companies to set up in France and French start-ups to choose the Czech Republic as a place to develop in Central Europe,
- Be a facilitator of meetings between French and local tech actors and make the community live,
- Create active links with other French Tech communities in the region and more widely in the world.
So far the French Tech Prague activities include:
- quarterly informal get together networking meetings for the members of the community,
- the creation of the French Tech Award to recognize the resiliency of a local start-up during Covid time (Awarded to Airmobis, an Aviation and Aerospace Component Manufacturing),
- the authoring of a Prague Ecosystem Guide,
- the moderation of the French-Czech Space Downstream Innovation Day in partnership with EUSPA (European Union Agency for the Space Programme), Business France and the Embassy of France in the Czech Republic,
- the introduction of 42 Prague, a unique IT school program (42) initially created in Paris, to the local Prague community in partnership with Publicis,
- the recording of a podcast on venture capital in the region in collaboration with French Tech Budapest,
- a workshop on cryptocurrencies for CJD Prague (Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants d’entreprises),
- the support of a Czech FinTech startup to help them enter the French market,
- as well as a constant technology watch on current and future trends in technology.
Going forward, the team is working on increasing its activities with local players to stimulate the local ecosystem and developing it to support French Tech goals while growing the size of its community. This materializes with the creation of new educational events about start-ups, technology trends and digital transformation in partnership with local actors such as the French-Czech Chamber of Commerce.
People interested in participating to the French Tech Prague future events can follow the official announcements on the LinkedIn page: French Tech Prague
Cédric MALOUX, President of the French Tech Prague